US9482015B2 - Panel forming - Google Patents

Panel forming Download PDF

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US9482015B2
US9482015B2 US15/085,535 US201615085535A US9482015B2 US 9482015 B2 US9482015 B2 US 9482015B2 US 201615085535 A US201615085535 A US 201615085535A US 9482015 B2 US9482015 B2 US 9482015B2
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core
method
board
formed
forming
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US20160208501A1 (en
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Darko Pervan
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CERALOC INNOVATION AB
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CERALOC INNOVATION AB
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Priority to US201261667190P priority Critical
Priority to US13/932,406 priority patent/US9140010B2/en
Priority to US14/825,719 priority patent/US9663956B2/en
Application filed by CERALOC INNOVATION AB filed Critical CERALOC INNOVATION AB
Priority to US15/085,535 priority patent/US9482015B2/en
Assigned to VALINGE FLOORING TECHNOLOGY AB reassignment VALINGE FLOORING TECHNOLOGY AB ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: PERVAN, DARKO
Assigned to CERALOC INNOVATION AB reassignment CERALOC INNOVATION AB ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: Välinge Flooring Technology AB
Publication of US20160208501A1 publication Critical patent/US20160208501A1/en
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    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04FFINISHING WORK ON BUILDINGS, e.g. STAIRS, FLOORS
    • E04F15/00Flooring
    • E04F15/02Flooring or floor layers composed of a number of similar elements
    • E04F15/02038Flooring or floor layers composed of a number of similar elements characterised by tongue and groove connections between neighbouring flooring elements
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B27WORKING OR PRESERVING WOOD OR SIMILAR MATERIAL; NAILING OR STAPLING MACHINES IN GENERAL
    • B27FDOVETAILED WORK; TENONS; SLOTTING MACHINES FOR WOOD OR SIMILAR MATERIAL; NAILING OR STAPLING MACHINES
    • B27F1/00Dovetailed work; Tenons; Making tongues or grooves; Groove- and- tongue jointed work; Finger- joints
    • B27F1/02Making tongues or grooves, of indefinite length
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B27WORKING OR PRESERVING WOOD OR SIMILAR MATERIAL; NAILING OR STAPLING MACHINES IN GENERAL
    • B27NMANUFACTURE BY DRY PROCESSES OF ARTICLES, WITH OR WITHOUT ORGANIC BINDING AGENTS, MADE FROM PARTICLES OR FIBRES CONSISTING OF WOOD OR OTHER LIGNOCELLULOSIC OR LIKE ORGANIC MATERIAL
    • B27N3/00Manufacture of substantially flat articles, e.g. boards, from particles or fibres
    • B27N3/04Manufacture of substantially flat articles, e.g. boards, from particles or fibres from fibres
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B32LAYERED PRODUCTS
    • B32BLAYERED PRODUCTS, i.e. PRODUCTS BUILT-UP OF STRATA OF FLAT OR NON-FLAT, e.g. CELLULAR OR HONEYCOMB, FORM
    • B32B21/00Layered products comprising a layer of wood, e.g. wood board, veneer, wood particle board
    • B32B21/02Layered products comprising a layer of wood, e.g. wood board, veneer, wood particle board the layer being formed of fibres, chips, or particles, e.g. MDF, HDF, OSB, chipboard, particle board, hardboard
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B32LAYERED PRODUCTS
    • B32BLAYERED PRODUCTS, i.e. PRODUCTS BUILT-UP OF STRATA OF FLAT OR NON-FLAT, e.g. CELLULAR OR HONEYCOMB, FORM
    • B32B3/00Layered products comprising a layer with external or internal discontinuities or unevennesses, or a layer of non-planar form ; Layered products having particular features of form
    • B32B3/02Layered products comprising a layer with external or internal discontinuities or unevennesses, or a layer of non-planar form ; Layered products having particular features of form characterised by features of form at particular places, e.g. in edge regions
    • B32B3/06Layered products comprising a layer with external or internal discontinuities or unevennesses, or a layer of non-planar form ; Layered products having particular features of form characterised by features of form at particular places, e.g. in edge regions for securing layers together; for attaching the product to another member, e.g. to a support, or to another product, e.g. groove/tongue, interlocking
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04CSTRUCTURAL ELEMENTS; BUILDING MATERIALS
    • E04C2/00Building elements of relatively thin form for the construction of parts of buildings, e.g. sheet materials, slabs, or panels
    • E04C2/02Building elements of relatively thin form for the construction of parts of buildings, e.g. sheet materials, slabs, or panels characterised by specified materials
    • E04C2/10Building elements of relatively thin form for the construction of parts of buildings, e.g. sheet materials, slabs, or panels characterised by specified materials of wood, fibres, chips, vegetable stems, or the like; of plastics; of foamed products
    • E04C2/24Building elements of relatively thin form for the construction of parts of buildings, e.g. sheet materials, slabs, or panels characterised by specified materials of wood, fibres, chips, vegetable stems, or the like; of plastics; of foamed products laminated and composed of materials covered by two or more of groups E04C2/12, E04C2/16, E04C2/20
    • E04C2/246Building elements of relatively thin form for the construction of parts of buildings, e.g. sheet materials, slabs, or panels characterised by specified materials of wood, fibres, chips, vegetable stems, or the like; of plastics; of foamed products laminated and composed of materials covered by two or more of groups E04C2/12, E04C2/16, E04C2/20 combinations of materials fully covered by E04C2/16 and E04C2/20
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04FFINISHING WORK ON BUILDINGS, e.g. STAIRS, FLOORS
    • E04F15/00Flooring
    • E04F15/02Flooring or floor layers composed of a number of similar elements
    • E04F15/02161Floor elements with grooved main surface
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04FFINISHING WORK ON BUILDINGS, e.g. STAIRS, FLOORS
    • E04F15/00Flooring
    • E04F15/02Flooring or floor layers composed of a number of similar elements
    • E04F15/04Flooring or floor layers composed of a number of similar elements only of wood or with a top layer of wood, e.g. with wooden or metal connecting members
    • E04F15/041Flooring or floor layers composed of a number of similar elements only of wood or with a top layer of wood, e.g. with wooden or metal connecting members with a top layer of wood in combination with a lower layer of other material
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04FFINISHING WORK ON BUILDINGS, e.g. STAIRS, FLOORS
    • E04F15/00Flooring
    • E04F15/02Flooring or floor layers composed of a number of similar elements
    • E04F15/10Flooring or floor layers composed of a number of similar elements of other materials, e.g. fibrous or chipped materials, organic plastics, magnesite tiles, hardboard, or with a top layer of other materials
    • E04F15/102Flooring or floor layers composed of a number of similar elements of other materials, e.g. fibrous or chipped materials, organic plastics, magnesite tiles, hardboard, or with a top layer of other materials of fibrous or chipped materials, e.g. bonded with synthetic resins
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04FFINISHING WORK ON BUILDINGS, e.g. STAIRS, FLOORS
    • E04F15/00Flooring
    • E04F15/02Flooring or floor layers composed of a number of similar elements
    • E04F15/10Flooring or floor layers composed of a number of similar elements of other materials, e.g. fibrous or chipped materials, organic plastics, magnesite tiles, hardboard, or with a top layer of other materials
    • E04F15/107Flooring or floor layers composed of a number of similar elements of other materials, e.g. fibrous or chipped materials, organic plastics, magnesite tiles, hardboard, or with a top layer of other materials composed of several layers, e.g. sandwich panels
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B27WORKING OR PRESERVING WOOD OR SIMILAR MATERIAL; NAILING OR STAPLING MACHINES IN GENERAL
    • B27FDOVETAILED WORK; TENONS; SLOTTING MACHINES FOR WOOD OR SIMILAR MATERIAL; NAILING OR STAPLING MACHINES
    • B27F1/00Dovetailed work; Tenons; Making tongues or grooves; Groove- and- tongue jointed work; Finger- joints
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B27WORKING OR PRESERVING WOOD OR SIMILAR MATERIAL; NAILING OR STAPLING MACHINES IN GENERAL
    • B27FDOVETAILED WORK; TENONS; SLOTTING MACHINES FOR WOOD OR SIMILAR MATERIAL; NAILING OR STAPLING MACHINES
    • B27F1/00Dovetailed work; Tenons; Making tongues or grooves; Groove- and- tongue jointed work; Finger- joints
    • B27F1/02Making tongues or grooves, of indefinite length
    • B27F1/04Making tongues or grooves, of indefinite length along only one edge of a board
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B29WORKING OF PLASTICS; WORKING OF SUBSTANCES IN A PLASTIC STATE IN GENERAL
    • B29BPREPARATION OR PRETREATMENT OF THE MATERIAL TO BE SHAPED; MAKING GRANULES OR PREFORMS; RECOVERY OF PLASTICS OR OTHER CONSTITUENTS OF WASTE MATERIAL CONTAINING PLASTICS
    • B29B13/00Conditioning or physical treatment of the material to be shaped
    • B29B13/02Conditioning or physical treatment of the material to be shaped by heating
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B32LAYERED PRODUCTS
    • B32BLAYERED PRODUCTS, i.e. PRODUCTS BUILT-UP OF STRATA OF FLAT OR NON-FLAT, e.g. CELLULAR OR HONEYCOMB, FORM
    • B32B2471/00Floor coverings
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B32LAYERED PRODUCTS
    • B32BLAYERED PRODUCTS, i.e. PRODUCTS BUILT-UP OF STRATA OF FLAT OR NON-FLAT, e.g. CELLULAR OR HONEYCOMB, FORM
    • B32B2607/00Walls, panels
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B41PRINTING; LINING MACHINES; TYPEWRITERS; STAMPS
    • B41JTYPEWRITERS; SELECTIVE PRINTING MECHANISMS, e.g. INK-JET PRINTERS, THERMAL PRINTERS, i.e. MECHANISMS PRINTING OTHERWISE THAN FROM A FORME; CORRECTION OF TYPOGRAPHICAL ERRORS
    • B41J2/00Typewriters or selective printing mechanisms characterised by the printing or marking process for which they are designed
    • B41J2/005Typewriters or selective printing mechanisms characterised by the printing or marking process for which they are designed characterised by bringing liquid or particles selectively into contact with a printing material
    • B41J2/01Ink jet
    • B41J2/015Ink jet characterised by the jet generation process
    • B41J2/02Ink jet characterised by the jet generation process generating a continuous ink jet
    • B41J2/03Ink jet characterised by the jet generation process generating a continuous ink jet by pressure
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04FFINISHING WORK ON BUILDINGS, e.g. STAIRS, FLOORS
    • E04F2201/00Joining sheets or plates or panels
    • E04F2201/01Joining sheets, plates or panels with edges in abutting relationship
    • E04F2201/0153Joining sheets, plates or panels with edges in abutting relationship by rotating the sheets, plates or panels around an axis which is parallel to the abutting edges, possibly combined with a sliding movement
    • E04F2201/0161Joining sheets, plates or panels with edges in abutting relationship by rotating the sheets, plates or panels around an axis which is parallel to the abutting edges, possibly combined with a sliding movement with snap action of the edge connectors
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04FFINISHING WORK ON BUILDINGS, e.g. STAIRS, FLOORS
    • E04F2201/00Joining sheets or plates or panels
    • E04F2201/02Non-undercut connections, e.g. tongue and groove connections
    • E04F2201/023Non-undercut connections, e.g. tongue and groove connections with a continuous tongue or groove
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04FFINISHING WORK ON BUILDINGS, e.g. STAIRS, FLOORS
    • E04F2203/00Specially structured or shaped covering, lining or flooring elements not otherwise provided for
    • E04F2203/04Specially structured or shaped covering, lining or flooring elements not otherwise provided for comprising a plurality of internal elongated cavities arranged in substantially parallel rows
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04FFINISHING WORK ON BUILDINGS, e.g. STAIRS, FLOORS
    • E04F2203/00Specially structured or shaped covering, lining or flooring elements not otherwise provided for
    • E04F2203/08Specially structured or shaped covering, lining or flooring elements not otherwise provided for with a plurality of grooves or slits in the back side, to increase the flexibility or bendability of the elements
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10TTECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER US CLASSIFICATION
    • Y10T428/00Stock material or miscellaneous articles
    • Y10T428/24Structurally defined web or sheet [e.g., overall dimension, etc.]
    • Y10T428/24777Edge feature

Abstract

Building panels, especially laminated floor panels are shown, which are provided with a locking system and several core grooves at the rear side in order to save material and decrease weight. Building panels, each having a surface layer on a front side, a backing layer on a rear side and an intermediate core, wherein the intermediate core and the surface and the backing layer all comprise wood fibers and thermosetting resins, said building panels are provided with a locking system for vertical and horizontal locking of a first edge of a first building panel to an adjacent second edge of a second building panel.

Description

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application is a continuation of U.S. application Ser. No. 14/825,719, filed on Aug. 13, 2015, which is a continuation of U.S. application Ser. No. 13/932,406, filed on Jul. 1, 2013, now U.S. Pat. No. 9,140,010, which claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/667,190, filed on Jul. 2, 2012. The entire contents of U.S. application Ser. No. 14/825,719, U.S. application Ser. No. 13/932,406, U.S. Pat. No. 9,140,010, and U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/667,190 are hereby incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The disclosure generally relates to the field of forming of panels, e.g. building panels. More particular, the disclosure relates to a method of forming floor panels and floor panels produced by the method.

FIELD OF APPLICATION

Embodiments of the present invention are particularly suitable for use in floating floors, which are formed of floorboards which are joined mechanically with a locking system and are made up of one or more upper layers of laminated decorative material, an intermediate core of wood-fibre-based material and a lower balancing layer on the rear side of the core. The following description of known technique, problems of known systems and objects and features of the disclosure will therefore, as a non-restrictive example, be aimed at this field of application and in particular at paper or powder based laminated floorings formed as rectangular floorboards intended to be mechanically joined on both long sides and short sides. However, it should be emphasized that embodiments of the invention may be used in all floor types which are installed with mechanical locking systems such as for example solid wood floors, LVT floors with a plastic surface layer and in wood based building panels, for instance in wall panels and furniture components

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Traditional laminated panels, intended to be used for, e.g. flooring or furniture components, are produced by the following steps as shown in FIGS. 1a-d . A decorative paper 2 b and a wear resistant transparent overlay paper 2 a are impregnated with a thermosetting resin, such as melamine, and are applied on the upper part of a HDF core 3. A balancing paper 4 impregnated with a melamine resin, general called backing, is applied on the backside of a HDF core. The core 3 with the upper 2 and lower 4 layers is moved into a press 5 and pressed under heat and pressure such that the thermosetting resins are cured and the layers are attached to the core as shown in FIG. 1 b.

Typical press parameters are 40 bar pressure and a temperature of 160-200 C.° with a pressing time of 12-30 seconds.

This production method and product produced by such methods are generally referred to as the DPL process and DPL products (Direct Pressure Laminate) The upper and lower surface layers have generally at thickness of 0.1-0.2 mm

HDF (High density fibreboard) comprises wood fibre and a thermosetting resin that also is cured by heat and pressure to a board with a thickness of about 6-12 mm and a density of about 800 kg/m3.

The most common floor size is a rectangular panel of 1.3*0.2 m with a thickness of about 8 mm. The panels are packed and supplied in a packet that contains about 10 panels with a floor area of about 2 m2. The weight of each packet is about 16 kg.

Recently new floor panels with a wood powder based surface and backing have been developed. The paper is replaced with a powder backing 4 comprising wood fibres and melamine particles that is scattered on one side of a core 3 and a powder based surface layer 2 comprising wood fibres, thermosetting resins, preferably melamine particles, aluminium oxide particles and colour pigments, is scattered on the other side of the core that generally is a HDF board. The scattering is made by rollers and brushes and very accurate layers of about 100-800 gr/m2 may be scattered with high precision on the HDF core material that generally has a thickness of about 7-10 mm. The surface 2, the core 3 and the backing 4 are pressed under heat and pressure in a continuous or discontinuous press 5 to obtain a product with a paper free and solid surface layer and backing.

The pressed powder based layers may have a thickness of about 0.2-1.0 mm. Typical press parameters are similar to conventional laminate flooring and may be a pressure of 40-80 bar and a temperature of 160-200 C.° with a pressing time of 10-40 seconds.

Such wood fibre based floors, generally referred to as WFF floors, have considerably better properties than traditional laminate floors since a thicker and more impact and wear resistant surface may be produced in a cost efficient way.

These two production methods may be combined.

A laminate floor with a paper based surface layer may have a powder based sub layer under the decorative paper in order to provide better impact resistance and deeper embossing. The paper backing may be replaced with a powder backing. The sub layer may be used to impregnate the decorative paper during pressing when the resins from the sub layer penetrate into the decorative paper.

WFF floor may also have several different layers on the upper side for example a high quality top layer 2 a and a more cost efficient sub layer 2 b under the top layer. The sub layer may comprise lower resin content and no aluminium oxide particles are needed.

A common feature for the paper or powder based surface layers, the paper or powder based backing layers and the HDF core is that all these materials comprise wood fibres and thermosetting binders, preferably melamine or urea, and that they are cured by heat and pressure. The wood fibres may be of the same type.

The layers are exposed to a first shrinking when the thermosetting resin in the upper and lower layer cures during pressing. The HDF core is also heated and becomes soft and easy to bend. The backing layer balances the tension that is created by the surface layer and the panel is substantially flat with a small convex backward bending when it leaves the press.

The second temperature shrinking, when the panels is cooled from about 160-200° C. to room temperature, is also balanced by the backing layer and the panel 1 is essentially flat. A small convex backward bending is preferred since this counteracts upward bending of the edges in dry conditions when the relative humidity may go down to 20% or lower during wintertime.

This essentially flat pressed board comprises tension forces caused by the shrinking of the surface and balancing layers.

The board is generally cut and formed into several floor panels with locking systems on long and short edges as shown in FIG. 1c . The locking system comprises generally a tongue 10 and a tongue groove 9 for vertical locking and a strip 6 with a locking element 8 that cooperates with a locking groove 14 for horizontal locking.

The surface layer 2 has about the same length and width as the backing layer 4 as shown in FIG. 1d . The locking system may be formed in one piece with the core. Alternatively separate materials may be used to form for example the tongue 10 and/or the strip 6.

The prices for wood fibres and thermosetting resins are increasing and major increases are expected in the future due to shortage and the possibility to use wood fibres for energy production.

Several methods have been used to save material and to reduce costs. Such methods are mainly aiming to make thinner products that comprise a minimum of resins. Further cost savings are limited by minimum quality requirements related to the floor panel and the geometry of locking system.

It would be a major advantage if it would be possible to reduce the weight and material content. The problem with the present laminate and WFF floors is that they must have a high density core such as HDF that is needed for the stability, impact resistance and the strength which is needed to resist the heat and pressure from the pressing operation. Another problem is that the panels must have a minimum thickness and a core with high shear strength in order to allow the forming of a locking system with sufficient strength and geometry that allows easy installation.

It is known that grooves may be formed on the rear side of solid wood floors mainly in order to increase the flexibility of the panel. Such panels are easier to glue down to the sub floor. Grooves at the rear side of the panels are not used in laminate and WFF floors, which are installed with mechanical locking systems. The main reason is that such groove will have a negative impact on the stability of the panel and on the locking system since material will be removed from the balancing layer and the lower parts of the locking system.

DEFINITION OF SOME TERMS

In the following text, the visible surface of the installed floorboard is called “front side” or “surface”, while the opposite side of the floorboard, facing the subfloor, is called “rear side”. The starting board material that is used as a base material is called “core”. When the core is coated with a surface layer closest to the front side and preferably also a balancing layer closest to the rear side, it forms a semi manufacture, which is called “a board” that in a subsequent operation generally is divided and machined into a plurality of “floor panels”.

By “horizontal plane” is meant a plane, which extends parallel to the outer part of the surface layer. Immediately juxtaposed upper parts of two neighboring joint edges of two joined floorboards together define a “vertical plane” perpendicular to the horizontal plane.

The outer parts of the floorboard at the edge of the floorboard between the front side and the rear side are called “joint edge”. As a rule, the joint edge has several “joint surfaces” which may be vertical, horizontal, angled, rounded, beveled etc.

By “locking system” is meant co-acting connecting means, which connect the floor panel vertically and/or horizontally. By “mechanical locking system” is meant that joining may take place without glue.

By “up or upward” means toward the surface and by “down or downward” means toward the rear side. By “inwardly” is meant towards the centre of the floorboard and by “outwardly” means in the opposite direction.

By “carving” is meant a method to form a groove or a protrusion on an edge of a panel by carving a part of the edge to its final shape by one or several carving tool configurations comprising several non-rotating and fixed chip-removing surfaces located along the feeding direction

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

An objective of embodiments of the present invention is to provide laminated panels comprising thermosetting resins and a method to produce such panels with the aim to reduce the weight and material content of such panels, especially floor panels, and to combine such cost saving and material reducing methods with a high quality locking systems and a core that provides sufficient stability which is needed in the pressing operation and when the floor is used. A further objective is to provide solid wood floors with reduced weight and material content and increased stability.

A first aspect of the invention is building panels having a surface layer on the front side, an intermediate core and a backing layer on the rear side of the core, wherein the core and the layers all comprise wood fibres and thermosetting resins. The panels are provided with a locking system for vertical and horizontal locking of a first edge of a first building panel to an adjacent second edge of a second building panel. The upper parts of the first and the second edge in a locked position together define a vertical plane perpendicular to a horizontal plane, which is parallel to the surface. Said locking system comprises a tongue and a tongue groove configured to cooperate for vertical locking, and a strip, which is provided with a locking element and configured to cooperate for horizontal locking with a downwardly open locking groove formed in an adjacent edge. The backing layer and the core comprise several vertically extending core grooves with an opening towards the rear side. The area of the backing layer is less than about 90% of the area of the surface layer.

The backing layer may comprise at least three core grooves spaced horizontally and inwardly from the locking system at one pair of opposite edges.

The area of the backing layer may be less than 80% of the area of the surface layer.

The entire parts of at least one core groove may be located inside the vertical plane VP at all edges.

The panels may be rectangular with long edges and short edges and the core grooves may be parallel with the long edges.

The core grooves may have a groove depth that is at least 0.3 times the floor thickness.

The core grooves may comprise an opening that is large than an inner part of the grooves.

The backing layer may comprise essentially the same fibres as the core.

A second aspect of the invention is a method to produce a floor panels each having a surface layer on the front side, an intermediate core and a backing layer on the rear side of the core wherein the core and the layers all comprise wood fibres and thermosetting resins. The method comprises the steps of:

    • creating wood fibre chips by forming core grooves in the rear side of previously produced panel;
    • producing a mix by mixing the wood chips with thermosetting resin,
    • scattering the mix of wood chips and thermosetting resin on the upper and/or lower side of the core,
    • forming a board by curing the mix with heat and pressure,
    • cutting the board into several floor panels, and
    • forming a locking system at a first and a second panel edge, the locking system comprises a strip, a locking element and a locking grove for horizontal locking and a tongue and a tongue groove for vertical locking.

The mix may be scattered on the lower side of the core.

The mix may be scattered on the upper and lower side of the core.

The core may be HDF.

The core grooves may be formed prior to the forming of the locking system on long or short edges.

The core grooves may be formed by a jumping tool comprising several rotating saw blades or a carving tool.

The pressed board may be more convex than the floor panel.

The core grooves are used to create wood fibre material that may be used in a second step to form the upper or lower layers of the floor panel. The material that is removed from the core when forming the core grooves, reduces the weight of the panel in spite of the fact that the original panel thickness is maintained and that a panel which is thicker than the original core may be formed by using the chips from the forming of the core grooves. The whole floor panel including the upper and lower layers may be formed by materials comprising the material from the core.

The core and the layers may, as an alternative, comprise a thermoplastic material, such as PVC, PET or vinyl, preferably provided with a filler, and the chips created are, for this alternative, embodiment plastic chips.

The locking system may, as an alternative, comprise a protruding strip at the first or the second panel edge and a recess on a lower side of the other of said first or second panel edge. An upper surface of the protruding strip or a lower surface of the recess is preferably provided with an adhesive, such as an adhesive tape, preferably provided with a removable strip.

A third aspect of the invention is a wood based floor panel having an upper and a lower layer of solid wood. The lower layer comprises cavities and the upper layer forms an upper part of the cavities.

The panels may have a mechanical locking system at two opposite edges.

A fourth aspect of the invention is a method to produce essentially flat floor panels, each having a surface layer on a front side, a backing layer on a rear side, and an intermediate core, wherein the surface and backing layer comprise thermosetting resins and wherein the method comprises the steps of:

    • forming a large board with convex pretension backwards by connecting the core, the surface layer and the backing layer with heat and pressure;
    • dividing the board into several floor panels;
    • forming core grooves at the rear side of the panels such that the convex pretension is at least partly released.

The core grooves may be formed after the dividing of the board into several floor panels.

The above objects are achieved wholly or partly by locking systems, floor panels and production methods according to embodiments of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will by way of example be described in more detail with reference to the appended schematic drawings, which shows embodiments of the present invention.

FIGS. 1a-d illustrate known technology.

FIGS. 2a-d illustrate a floor panel according an embodiment to the invention.

FIGS. 3a-e illustrate alternative embodiments of the invention.

FIGS. 4a-d illustrate forming of a floor panel according to an embodiment of the invention.

FIGS. 5a-e illustrate embodiments of core grooves.

FIGS. 6a-e illustrate balancing of a panel with core grooves and core grooves in a solid wood floor according to embodiments of the invention.

FIGS. 7a-c illustrate embodiments of tools to form core grooves.

FIGS. 8a-c illustrate embodiments of cost efficient locking systems that may be combined with core grooves.

FIG. 9 illustrates a flow chart of method steps according to an embodiment of the invention.

DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

A first embodiment of floorboards provided with a mechanical locking system according to the invention is shown in FIGS. 2a-2d . The floor panel comprises a locking system on long 1 a, 1 b and short 1 c, 1 d edges. FIG. 2a shows the front side with the surface layer 2 and FIG. 2b shows the rear side with the backing layer 4. The area of the surface layer A′ is essentially the same as the area A of the backing layer 4. FIG. 2c shows that essentially vertical core grooves 19 a, 19 b, with an opening toward the rear side or the panel, may be formed on the rear side in the backing layer 4 and into the core 3 that may be a wood based board such as for example HDF, chipboard or plywood. The core may also comprise plastic material. Such forming may be made with rotating saw blades 20 a as shown in FIG. 2d . Carving may also be used. The panels are generally machined with the surface layer 2 pointing downwards. The jumping saw blade is displaced towards the panel 20 a from above, or below if the surface layer 2 is pointing upwards, and away from the panel 20 c when the panel moves relative the rotating saw blades. Several core grooves 19 a, 19 b are formed that in this preferred embodiment are located inwardly from the edges and preferably also inwardly from the vertical plane VP such that they do not intersect any part of the locking systems on the long and short edges. The grooves 19 may also be formed with fixed or jumping non-rotation carving tools.

The forming of the grooves creates wood chips 21 that according to embodiments of the invention may be milled and sieved to wood powder that may be mixed with thermosetting resin and scattered on a core to form the surface and/or backing layer. The core grooves are mainly used to provide wood fibre material that may be used in the upper 2 or lower 4 layers in order to save material. They may also be used to decrease the weight of the floor panel.

FIG. 3a-3e show that the core grooves 19 may be formed with many different geometries and patterns. The core grooves 19 may have different widths as shown in FIG. 3b and the groove length may be smaller than the length BL of the backing layer. They may be discontinuous as shown in FIGS. 3c and 3d and they may extend from one edge to the other edge as shown in FIG. 3e . The grooves may also be located mainly at the outer parts of the backing layer and there may be a middle area MA without any grooves. This may be used to increase the stability of the panel and to reduce the negative impact on the backing layer when parts of the backing layer are removed. The grooves may be formed along the long sides and/or along the short sides. The panels may also be square.

The core grooves reduces the area A of the backing layer. The area A of the backing layer is in the shown embodiments about 60%-85% of the area A′ of the surface layer. This means that the balancing layer will lose 40-15% of its strength. A thicker backing layer or increased resin content may compensate such reduced backing area.

It is possible to form core grooves that reduce the backing area A with more than 50% compared to the initial area after pressing and the area A′ of the surface layer.

FIG. 4a-4d show forming of a floor panel 1 according to embodiments of the invention. A wood powder based sub layer 2 b is applied on a core 3. FIG. 4b shows that a surface layer 2 comprising a top layer 2 a of wood powder or a decorative paper and overlay may be applied on the sub layer 2 b. A powder backing layer 4 may be applied on the rear side of the core 3. FIG. 4c shows the forming of a core groove 19 that creates chips 21. Such chips may be milled, sieved and mixed with thermosetting binders. This material may be scattered on the core to form the wood based top layer and/or sublayer and/or backing layer as shown in FIG. 4b . Finally the locking system 10, 9, 6, 8, 14 is formed as shown in FIG. 4 d.

The milling or carving of the core grooves may be formed after pressing and prior to the sawing the large board into individual panels, after sawing but prior to the forming of the locking system, after the forming of the locking system on two opposite edges for example the long edges or as a final operation after the forming of the locking system. Such production steps may be combined and some grooves made be formed in several production steps.

The core grooves may easily provide sufficient wood fibre material for the various layers described above. The cured thermosetting resins from the chips are compatible with the melamine powder that is mixed into the wood powder and no separation of fibres and cured resins is needed. The backing and the surface may comprise new virgin thermosetting resins and already cured resins.

FIGS. 5a-e show different preferred geometries of the core grooves that may comprise a vertically extending groove depth GD of for example 0.1-0.5 times the floor thickness T, a groove width GW of about 0.5-1 times the floor thickness T and there may be a horizontally extending space S between the core grooves of about 0.2-1 times the floor thickness T as shown in FIG. 5 a.

The core grooves may have different shapes and the inner core grooves 19 b may be formed with a smaller groove depth GD than the outer grooves 19 a in order to increase the stability of the panel. Core grooves 19 c may also be formed with an undercut by for example a carving tool 20.

Core grooves with a groove depth GD of for example 0.8 times the panel thickness T may be formed in wall panels where the requirements on the impact resistance are much lower than in for floor panels.

FIGS. 5c-5e show the core grooves 19 seen from the long edges. The panels have a fold down locking system on the short edges 1 c,1 d with a flexible tongue 10 that allows locking with vertical folding. FIG. 5c shows a core groove 19 with a groove length GL which is smaller than the distance between the locking systems at opposite short edges. FIG. 5d shows that the core grove 10 is curved at one short edge 1 d and parallel with the surface at the other edge 1 c such that it intersects a part of the locking groove 14. Such embodiments allows that the jumping tool have to be displaced during forming only when the forming of the core grooves 19 starts or ends. FIG. 5e shows a core groove 19 that is formed with a fixed tool and that intersects the locking strip 6 and the locking groove 14.

The core grooves may provide sufficient material to for example produce a 0.5 mm backing layer and a 0.5 mm sub layer. A 7 mm HDF core may be used to produce an 8 mm floor panel by using the material from the core to form the backing layer and preferably at least parts of the surface layers. This may result in a material saving and weight reduction of about 15%.

An even larger material saving and weight reduction of about 20% may be reached if core grooves are formed such that they reduce the backing layer with 50% of the floor surface and with a groove depth GD of 40% of the floor thickness T.

The core grooves may be filled with material that preferably is cheaper than wood and/or that gives the floor other properties such as for example an increased sound reduction.

The chips may of course also be used completely or partly to create thermal energy. Embodiments of the invention may therefore also be used in floors that comprise a wood based core and where the core groves are used for weight reduction and the chips for energy or as filler in various applications.

Forming of core groves after pressing provides the advantage that the backing layer counteracts the shrinking of the top layer during pressing and cooling and the pressed board is at this production stage not affected by the core grooves that are formed in the floor panel after the pressing operation.

However, the forming of the core grooves removes a part of the balancing layer and this may result in that tension is released and that the panel edges bend upward after the forming of the grooves. Such a panel will not be completely flat and may be slightly concave along the length and the width.

FIGS. 6a-6c show that such problems may be counteracted and completely eliminated if the large board is formed with a pre tension backwards that is adapted to the dimensional changes caused by the forming of the core grooves as shown in FIG. 6a . The pretension may be accomplished for example by a thicker backing layer that may comprise more resins and that may be cured at a higher temperature than the surface layer. Such a production method is characterized in that the board, when pressed and cooled, has a larger backwards bending than the final floor panel with core grooves on the rear side. Even a mechanical bending directly after the pressing when the board is still hot may be used to accomplish a plastic deformation and to stretch the surface layer such that an “over bending” backwards may be created that partly springs back to an essentially flat position when the core grooves 19 are formed. FIG. 6b shows that part of the tension is released when the core grooves are formed and the floor panel may be essentially flat when the grooves and the edges are formed as shown in FIG. 6 c.

FIG. 6c shows that the core grooves may be covered with a separate covering layer 23 for example a paper, a plastic foil, foam, cork or a wood veneer. This may be used to hide the groves, to provide a moisture sealing or to reduce sound. The core grooves according to embodiments of the invention may therefore also be used in veneered floors where an upper and lower wood veneer is glued to a wood based core such as plywood, HDF or a chipboard.

FIG. 6d shows that the method to form core grooves 19 may also be used in solid wood floors where core grooves 19 are formed in the solid wood body 3, preferably along the fibres 24 in the length direction of the panel. A wood veneer or a wood sheet may be used as a covering layer 23 to cover the opening 25 of the core grooves 19. Such wood based covering layer 23, that may have a thickness of for example 0.5-1.0 mm or more, may also provide stability and may counteract bending and warping. The moisture content of the veneer may be adapted to the moister content of the solid wood body such that a tension is obtained when the veneer or the wood sheet shrinks.

FIG. 6e shows a wood based floor panel having an upper 2 and a lower 4 layer of solid wood. The layer may be made of different wood types that are glued to each other. The lower layer 4 comprises cavities 26. The upper layer may form an upper part 27 of such cavities. The cavities may also be formed in the upper layer and the lower layer may form a lower part of such cavities.

The different wood types that are glued to each other may have about the same thickness. The locking system may be formed partly or completely in the lower layer 4. Core grooves 19 with an opening that points downwards may also be formed in the lower layer 4. The embodiment shown in FIG. 6e may comprise HDF boards, instead of the solid wood layers, that may be formed and glued together in the same manner as described above. Such a combination core may be laminated as a conventional solid HDF board. This method is particularly suitable to be used for thicker laminated panels of a thickness of about 8-12 mm.

Core grooves or cavities formed in solid wood provide the advantages that the weight of the solid wood floor may be reduced and increased stability may be obtained.

The chips from the core grooves or cavities may be used for thermal energy or to produce wood fibres for other powder based floors or fibre based boards such as particleboards. It is also possible to mix the wood chips with a binder and to produce an artificial wood veneer that may be handled as a separate layer and glued against the opening of the core grooves.

The same technology may be used in a floor with a plywood based core and a veneered surface layer.

FIG. 7a shows a tool 20 comprising several rotating saw blades that may be used to form core grooves 19.

FIG. 7b shows a carving tool 20 with several carving teeth 20 a-d that are offset horizontally. The carving tool is preferably fixed in the horizontal direction and the panel is displaced against the carving tool in the feeding direction FD against the tool. Each tooth may carve about 0.3-0.5 mm in HDF material. The groove may be V or U shaped or even undercut with an inner part that has a larger horizontal extension perpendicular to the groove length than the opening.

FIGS. 8a-8c show that further cost savings may be reached with locking systems that are adapted to be separated from the large board with overlapping edges OL and with a non-linear cut that preferably is made with carving tools 20 a, 20 b. FIG. 8a shows a locking system, which comprises a protruding tongue 10 and a protruding strip 6 on the same edge. Such joint geometry may be used to accomplish a considerable reduction of the material waste W that is caused when the panels are cut and when the locking systems are formed. FIG. 8c shows that the rear side 6 a of the strip 6 may be formed such that the rear side of the strip is inclined upwards and such that an outer part of the strip is closer to the surface than an inner part. All such forming and material waste may be used to provide wood fibres that may be used in in upper or lower layers of a panel.

Core grooves may be combined with non-linear separation and locking systems that make it possible to divide the board into several panels that have geometry such that they may be positioned in the same horizontal plane HP with overlapping edges.

It is possible to form the whole floor panel from the wood material obtained from the core of other floor panels. Only melamine powder has to be added into the mix. The upper layer may be harder than the core since a higher density may be created during the pressing of the powder mix. Such panels may be formed with embossed structures and may be painted, lacquered or digitally printed in the factory or panted and/or lacquered after installation.

FIG. 9 shows a flow chart of method steps according to an embodiment of the invention, the method comprising: a step 101 of creating wood fiber chips by forming at least one core groove in a rear side of a previously produced floor panel; a step 102 of producing a mix by mixing the wood fiber chips with a thermosetting resin; a step 103 of scattering the mix on at least one of an upper side and a lower side of a core; a step 104 of forming a board from the core and the mix by curing the mix under heat and pressure; and a step 105 of cutting the board into a plurality of floor panels.

EMBODIMENTS

1. Building panels (1, 1′), each having a surface layer (2) on a front side, a backing layer (4) on a rear side and an intermediate core (3), wherein the intermediate core and the surface and the backing layer all comprise wood fibres and thermosetting resins, said building panels are provided with a locking system for vertical and horizontal locking of a first edge of a first building panel (1) to an adjacent second edge of a second building panel (1′), wherein upper parts of the first and the second edge in a locked position together define a vertical plane (VP) perpendicular to a horizontal plane (HP), which is parallel to the surface layer (2), said locking system comprises a tongue (10) and a tongue groove (9) configured to cooperate for vertical locking, and at the first edge a strip (6) provided with a locking element (8), which is configured to cooperate for horizontal locking with a downwardly open locking groove (14) formed in the second edge, characterised in that the backing layer (4) and the intermediate core (3) comprise several vertically extending core grooves (19) with an opening towards the rear side and that the area (A) of the backing layer is less than about 90% of the area A′ of the surface layer.
2. The building panels as in embodiment 1, wherein the backing layer (4) comprises at least three core grooves (19) spaced horizontally and inwardly from the locking system at one pair of opposite edges.
3. The building panels as in embodiments 1 or 2, wherein the area (A) of the backing layer is less than 80% of the area of the surface layer (A′).
4. The building panels as in any one of the embodiments 1-3, wherein the entire parts of at least one core groove (19) is arranged inside the vertical plane VP at all edges.
5. The building panels as in any one of the preceding embodiments, wherein the building panels are rectangular with long edges (1 a, 1 b) and short edges (1 c, 1 d) and wherein the core grooves (19) are essentially parallel with the long edges.
6. The building panels as in any one of the preceding embodiments, wherein the core groove depth (GD) is at least 0.3 times the floor thickness (T).
7. The building panels as in any one of the preceding embodiments, wherein the core grooves (19) comprises an opening with a groove width (GW) that is larger than an inner part of said groove.
8. The building panels as in any one of the preceding embodiments, wherein the backing layer (4) comprises essentially the same types of fibres as the core (3).
9. A method to produce floor panels, each having a surface layer (2) on a front side, a backing layer (4) on a rear side and an intermediate core (3), wherein the core and the surface and backing layer all comprise wood fibres and thermosetting resins and wherein the method comprises the steps of:

    • creating wood fibre chips (21) by forming core grooves (19) in a rear side of previously produced panel;
    • producing a mix by mixing the wood fibre chips with a thermosetting resin;
    • scattering the mix on the upper and/or lower side of a core;
    • forming the core and the mix to a board by curing the mix with heat and pressure;
    • cutting the board into several floor panels; and
    • forming a locking system at a first and a second edge of the floor panels, the locking system comprises a locking groove (14) and a strip (6) with a locking element (8) for horizontal locking and a tongue (10) and a tongue groove (9) for vertical locking.
      10. The method as in embodiment 9 wherein the mix is scattered on the lower side of the core.
      11. The method as in embodiment 9 or 10, wherein the mix is scattered on the upper and lower side of the core (3).
      12. The method as in any one of the embodiments 9-11, wherein the core is HDF.
      13. The method as in any one of the embodiments 9-12, wherein the core grooves are formed prior to the forming of the locking system at long or short edges of the floor panels.
      14. The method as in any one of the embodiments 9-13, wherein the core grooves are formed by a jumping tool comprising several rotating saw blades or a carving tool.
      15. The method as in any one of the embodiments 9-14, wherein the pressed board is more convex than the floor panels.
      16. A wood based floor panel having an upper (2) and a lower (4) layer of solid wood, wherein the lower layer comprises cavities (26) and that the upper layer (2) forms an upper part (27) of the cavities (26).
      17. The floor panel as in embodiment 16, wherein one pair of opposite panel edges comprises a mechanical locking system (9,10,6,8,14) for locking the floor panel to an adjacent essentially identical floor panel vertically and horizontally.
      18. A method to produce essentially flat floor panels, each having a surface layer (2) on a front side, a backing layer (4) on a rear side and an intermediate core (3), wherein the surface and backing layer comprise thermosetting resins and wherein the method comprises the steps of:
    • forming a large board with convex pretension backwards by connecting the core, the surface layer and the backing layer with heat and pressure
    • dividing the board into several floor panels;
    • forming core grooves (19) at the rear side of the panels such that the convex pretension is at least partly released.
      19. The method as in embodiment 18, wherein the core grooves are formed after the dividing of the board into several floor panels.
      20. The method as in embodiments 18 or 19, wherein the core grooves are formed after the dividing of the board into several floor panels.

Claims (20)

The invention claimed is:
1. A method to produce floor panels, each of the floor panels having a surface layer on a front side, a backing layer on a rear side and an intermediate core, wherein the intermediate core, the surface layer and backing layer all comprise wood fibers and thermosetting resins, the method comprising:
creating wood fiber chips by forming at least one core groove in a rear side of a previously produced floor panel;
producing a mix by mixing the wood fiber chips with a thermosetting resin;
scattering the mix on at least one of an upper side and a lower side of a core;
forming a board from the core and the mix by curing the mix under heat and pressure; and
cutting the board into a plurality of floor panels.
2. The method as claimed in claim 1, further comprising forming a locking system at a first edge and a second edge of the floor panels, wherein the locking system comprises a locking groove and a strip with a locking element for horizontal locking and a tongue and a tongue groove for vertical locking.
3. The method as claimed in claim 1, wherein the mix is scattered on a lower side of the core.
4. The method as claimed in claim 1, wherein the mix is scattered on an upper side and a lower side of the core.
5. The method as claimed in claim 1, wherein the core is a high-density fiberboard.
6. The method as claimed in claim 1, wherein said at least one core groove is formed by a jumping tool comprising a plurality of rotating saw blades or by a carving tool.
7. The method as claimed in claim 1, wherein the board is more convex than the floor panels.
8. The method as claimed in claim 1, wherein the wood fiber chips are at least one of milled and sieved before producing said mix.
9. The method as claimed in claim 1, comprising creating the wood fiber chips by forming a plurality of core grooves in the rear side of the previously produced floor panel.
10. The method as claimed in claim 1, wherein said at least one core groove is formed before the previously produced floor panel is cut from a board into an individual floor panel.
11. The method as claimed in claim 1, wherein said at least one core groove is formed after the previously produced floor panel is cut from a board into an individual floor panel and before a locking system of the previously produced floor panel is formed.
12. The method as claimed in claim 1, wherein said at least one core groove is formed after a locking system of the previously produced floor panel is formed.
13. The method as claimed in claim 1, wherein the forming of at least one core groove further provides cured thermosetting resins from the rear side of the previously produced floor panel that are mixed with said wood fiber chips and said thermosetting resin.
14. The method as claimed in claim 1, further comprising forming at least one core groove in a rear side of the plurality of floor panels for creating wood fiber chips.
15. The method as claimed in claim 14, wherein said at least one core groove of the floor panels is formed before cutting the board into a plurality of floor panels.
16. The method as claimed in claim 14, wherein said at least one core groove of the floor panels is formed after cutting the board into a plurality of floor panels and before a locking system of the floor panels is formed.
17. The method as claimed in claim 14, wherein said at least one core groove of the floor panels is formed after forming a locking system of the floor panels.
18. The method as claimed in claim 1, wherein the area of the backing layer is less than about 90% of the area of the surface layer.
19. The method as claimed in claim 1, wherein the at least one core groove extends vertically into the backing layer and the intermediate core and opens towards the rear side of the previously produced floor panel.
20. The method as claimed in claim 1, further comprising
forming the board with convex pretension so that the board is curved downward at opposite lateral edges of the board, and
forming core grooves at the rear side of the floor panels that are cut from the board such that the convex pretension is at least partly released.
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US20160208501A1 (en) 2016-07-21
US20140000197A1 (en) 2014-01-02
US9140010B2 (en) 2015-09-22
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US9840849B2 (en) 2017-12-12

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